What Is the Past Perfect Tense? (with Examples)
What Is the Past Perfect Tense? (with Examples)The past perfect tense is used to emphasize that an action was completed before another took place.
Examples of the Past Perfect TenseHere are some examples of the past perfect tense (shaded):
- Silverfinger had taken the pill before the team reached him.
(First: He took the pill. Next: The team reached him.)
- I had called the police before I investigated the noise in the garden.
(First: I called the police. Next: I investigated the noise.)
- The weather changed, but the team had planned its next move.
(First: The team planned. Next: The weather changed.)
- Silverfinger had not taken the pill before the team reached him.
- I had not called the police before I investigated the noise in the garden.
- The weather changed, and the team had not planned its next move.
And the question versions:
- Had Silverfinger taken the pill before the team reached him?
- Had the team planned its next move before the weather changed?
Forming the Past Perfect TenseHere is an infographic explaining the past perfect tense:
Using ContractionsDon't forget that in speech and writing (especially informal writing), you will encounter the following contractions:
- I had > I'd
- You had > You'd
- He had > He'd
- She had > She'd
- It had > It'd
- We had > We'd
- They had > They'd
The Other Past TensesThe past perfect tense is one of four past tenses. They are:
|The 4 Past Tenses||Example|
|simple past tense||I went|
|past progressive tense||I was going|
|past perfect tense||I had gone|
|past perfect progressive tense||I had been going|
See AlsoTake a test on the past perfect tense Tenses Simple past tense Past progressive tense Past perfect tense
Past perfect progressive tense Simple present tense Present progressive tense Present perfect tense Present perfect progressive tense Simple future tense Future progressive tense Future perfect tense Future perfect progressive tense